November 22, 2009

The Legend of God’s Gun (2007)

THE BACK OF THE DVD BOX for The Legend of God’s Gun declares the film to be (their caps) “A GRINDHOUSE ROCK-N-ROLL SPAGHETTI WESTERN!!!”

Well, any movie that tries to fit itself into that many hip genres automatically gets me suspicious – suspicious that the film will try too hard (or not hard enough) to meld all those film styles into one cohesive, enjoyable film.

Something about an avenging, gun-toting preacher (Bobby Bones), a reluctant sheriff (Mike Bruce), and a goofy bandito named El Sobero (Kirkpatrick Thomas).


The Legend of God’s Gun incorporates a lot of the elements from the grindhouse and spaghetti western genres: bad, jumpy cuts and quick zooms; grainy, washed-out footage; bad looping of dialogue; acting that feels like everything was a first take; a tinny, mono soundtrack; and abundant use of a split-screen.

But while it’s kitschy and fun to watch older grindhouse and spaghetti western movies today, everything about The Legend of God’s Gun quickly feels like less of an homage and more of a gimmick.

Even the worst flicks from those two genres have a basic premise to hook the viewer. Writer/director Mike Bruce (also starring as the aforementioned sheriff) should’ve been less concerned about paying tribute to his favorite genres and more focused on a linear, compelling story.

Despite cool poster art and a great tagline (“You are about to leave this earth with many regrets”), The Legend of God’s Gun is a chore to sit through. Even at only 79 minutes, it will frustrate the most die-hard grindhouse and spaghetti western fans. And with most of the cast being rock stars by trade (from bands such as Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spindrift, and The Morlocks), it adds fuel to the argument that musicians make bad actors.

I’m fully aware that The Legend of God’s Gun is an independent film, and with that can come sacrifices in budget and production value. But that’s no excuse for the dips in quality that plague it. At times, it feels less like an independent movie and more like an experimental student film.

The Legend of God’s Gun achieves a dubious double-whammy: It manages to both overshoot and undershoot in its attempts to honor two classic genres – and in the end delivers an unwatchable film.

Will your kids want to watch it?
I’d say keep children away from The Legend of God’s Gun – not because of its objectionable content, but because it’s a horrible film. On the subject of the former: multiple shootings, adult language, a scene of necrophilia, Colt and some lady friends get high in an opium den, and a brief glimpse of bouncing boobs.

Will your FilmMother want to watch it?
Do not let her watch this film, even if she thinks she wants to.

I wish a had a pencil-thin mustache

The Legend of God’s Gun
• Director: Mike Bruce
• Screenwriter: Mike Bruce
• Stars: Bobby Bones, Kirkpatrick Thomas, Mike Bruce, Julie Patterson, Scott Dyeswell
• MPAA Rating: N/A

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James (SeattleDad) said...

Wow,like you the idea was interesting and was hoping for a better review. Thanks for the heads up. I will avoid this one.

free movie said...

Nice movie to see. I laughed out loud, many times watching this, and I love it, because its one of the worst films I have ever seen English speaking people make.


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